Clay soil is not so hopeless, so if you bought an area with clay soil, take your time to make an effort to combat it. Many plants do well on this kind of soil. Wouldn’t it be better, then, to cultivate what is suitable for this land than to try to constantly change its composition, spending time and a lot of work? In this post, we’ll discuss what kinds of fruit trees, flowers, shrubs, and even vegetables you may grow in such soil.
What flowers like clay soil?
The soil with a clay structure is challenging to cultivate, it becomes waterlogged in autumn and cracks in summer, but it retains moisture and nutrients well. Many plants thrive in such soil, and they may well decorate the territory of your site.
Do not deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying different beautiful flavours. Perennial flowers can be planted on clay soil.
- Plant lilacs, for example.
By the way, do not regret and cut off the branches to arrange a bouquet for yourself and put in a vase – this will not harm the lilacs at all. On the contrary, it will give new strength for even greater tillering.
- Blood-red currants will feel great on clay soil.
No, they don’t make jam from it, as from the red one we are used to. Although the fruit is edible, it is not very healthy and tasty. This plant has become widespread in landscape design due to its beautiful flower brushes. A blood-red currant bush in a garden or flower garden will delight the eye from mid-spring to mid-autumn. If the plant grows a lot, pruning can be done in the summer.
- Suppose you want to create a dense grass cover, plant heart-leaved incense. This perennial is unpretentious and grows anywhere: not something that will break through on clay, even on stony soil! Breeders have bred many varieties and hybrids of this plant to choose with purple, pink, white, red flowers. This plant will decorate the site without flowers until late autumn with its “elephant ears” – decorative leaves.
- If you want to have flowers in the country all the time, plant roses that bloom again.
In principle, all varieties of roses will take root and bloom on clay soil. They will bloom several times per season with short breaks. The only thing to consider when planting roses in clay soil is the acidity level. To reduce this indicator, add a little ash and dolomite flour to the hole when planting roses to a depth of half a meter. It will not hurt if you fill it with sand, peat and chopped dry grass – all this will loosen the soil a little, and the roots of the bushes will develop better.
- Be sure also to plant picky lungwort.
It is enough to sow the seeds once, and it will sprout every spring and bloom very quickly, attracting bees. The classic varieties of lungwort give not only beautiful flowers: the common lungwort and the indistinct lungwort are eaten; they are used to make a salad. In England, lungwort is classified as a salad plant. It remains only to check what it tastes like.
- Despite the clay soil, if it is a sunny area, you can plant geraniums.
Garden varieties of this flower will take root and delight them with their multicoloured colours, but they don’t need excess moisture.
What kind of fruit crops can be planted?
It is quite possible to grow apple trees, pears, and large fruits on heavy soils, including clayey. True, planting these fruit crops should be accompanied by filling a unique mixture into the pit. So, drainage is required for the apple tree: a particular substrate is poured into the hole before planting at a half-meter depth. The root collar of the tree is not buried in the ground. If you plant apple trees in clay soil, they need to be fed more often than if you plant apple trees in regular soil. By observing all these and other agrotechnical rules, you will achieve good yields.
Experienced gardeners plant a columnar apple tree in clayey places. A narrower and deeper hole is made for it, and the drainage layer is necessarily covered. To backfill the roots, you will need a freshly prepared substrate. The root collar is left at the level of 6-7 centimetres from the surface. Pear grows well in moderately clayey areas, as it loves moisture, and clay retains moisture. But when planting, just like with apple trees, a unique soil mixture is poured into the pit. It is well accepted on clay soils with an acidic environment irga fruit bush culture. But on heavy clay soil, humus must be brought in when planting at the rate of up to 8 kg per 1 square meter, peat mixture – 10 kg per square meter and sand – at least 15 kg, respectively. A hole is dug for this bush at the level of half a meter.
What else is growing well?
For gardeners, clay soil is not ideal, so many make raised beds, filling them with black dirt. But even on clean clay soil, quite a lot of vegetable crops can be grown. This soil has its advantages:
- it is rich in nutrients;
- the density of the soil allows it to retain moisture and nutrients.
All this contributes to obtaining good yields. The list of what can be grown in the garden on clay soil is quite impressive.
Peas are not afraid of a clay base; they will grow in any clay-sandy environment. But potatoes, although they improve clay soil, their cultivation in such ground can be difficult, and the cultivation of other root crops (carrots, radishes, beets, and so on). However, if you want to improve the soil structure, increase the drainage layer, plant roots in clay soil. After root crops, pumpkin can also be planted; this culture loves a drained loamy base. Initially, it will not grow in a heavy clay area.
In addition, beans, tomatoes, spinach, Jerusalem artichoke, onions and other crops can be grown on such soils. But back to ornamental plants that can be put up with clay soil. In the garden in the spring, one of the first to bloom is the Hubei apple tree, if you plant one. This is an ornamental tree that will delight in spring with a picturesque flowering composition and autumn with decorative apples. You can make jam, and the young leaves of this apple tree are used as a substitute for tea.
On clay soils, alfalfa, clover and other green manures grow well; simultaneously, they improve the structure of such ground. So it will be pretty appropriate to sow them in the garden so that the root systems of trees and shrubs can better “breathe” and get the necessary elements. Climbing plants can be grown in such areas, creating a hedge of vines. Petiolate hydrangea will feel great on clay soil and will grow both in the shade and in the sun, reaching a height of 20 meters. The maiden grapes grow to about the same size, but the round-leaved woodworm and honeysuckle are lower vines.
If the soil is clay, and even wet, feel free to plant a birch. This primordially Russian tree will draw in moisture like a pump, drying up the soil. In wet clay, red maple, western thuja and all varieties of willows will thrive. When planting a willow, it is necessary to make drainage (brick remains, pebbles or expanded clay are suitable). By planting alder, you can improve the structure of the clay soil. As you can see, annual and perennial plants, ornamental, fruit and vegetable crops can grow in this soil despite the problem of clay.